After many years of rather haphazard management of the green areas of Royal Clarence Yard, the current Property Manager, Toby Felton, has set in train a more strategic look at the maintenance and care of "soft landscaping", working closely with the RCY Residents Associations either side of Weevil Lane.
New Gardening Advisory Group
The Property Manager has suggested the establishment of an informal Gardening Advisory Group of residents, with a remit of helping determine gardening priorities for the site over the next few years. If you have some gardening/horticultural knowledge and would be interested in joining these discussions, you are welcome to get in touch:
Residents living east of Weevil Lane please contact the Secretary (info@rcmra,co.uk)
This is not expected to make much demand on your time (promise!): we are just looking to establish a small group from both sides of Weevil Lane willing to be consulted from time to time on options and priorities. Ideas for improvements and remedial planting where required will also be welcome. The decisions will still be made by the Property Manager (working within the Landscaping Budget) and the work will be done by the specialist contractors.
The small and medium sized trees are all now to be maintained regularly by a local tree surgeon on an annual contract. Since RCY is a Conservation Area, the proposed Tree Maintenance Plan has to be approved by the local Planning Authority. The tree surgeon is expected on site again 15-17 December.
The larger trees will be maintained as needed, following advice from the tree surgeon. These works are not included in the annual contract and will be costed separately. Several of the larger trees are protected by a 2001 Tree Preservation Order (G.100). Any works to protected trees requires a planning application which is then subject to a period of public consultation.
Current large Tree Works (to be carried out mid Dec):
A large Holm Oak to the rear of The Officers Quarters paddock (removing broken limb). Permission granted by GBC
The large Chinese Privet (TPO G.100) adjacent to Flagstaff House: lopping of branches on Flagstaff House side back to previous pruning points. Approved by GBC Planning (click here for Planning Officer report and decision)
RCY Borders, Hedges, Bushes, Planters, Lawns & Weeds
The other green areas at RCY are maintained by EMS. This year, with a small budget for remedial planting, they have addressed some of the more obvious areas where plants had died or become overgrown.
Over the coming years, it is intended that part of the Landscaping budget will be allocated to refreshing and improving other areas of soft landscaping. This is where input from the new Gardening Advisory Group would be most welcome as a 3-5 year soft landscaping plan for the site is developed. We hope that a few residents will be interested in joining those discussions. If you are, please get in touch with the Secretary of your Residents Association (contact e-mails above).
Grass & Lawns
EMS also maintains most of the grassed areas at RCY (apart from the grass outside Bridge House and the Sailing Clubs). Grass is mown regularly (weekly during the growing season, as required during the winter). Grass is also treated when required.
Everyone's bugbear: EMS aims to keep on top of weeds around RCY through a variety of measures, keeping the use of herbicide to a minimum. If you feel that any areas need particular attention, please report these (with photos if possible) to RMG (email@example.com).